We’re all familiar with Katy Perry, right? The songstress who brought us powerhouse self-empowerment songs such as Roar and Firework and the blast of frivolity that is Last Friday Night. Katy Perry = Top Ten hits, multi millions in the bank and sell out shows wherever she goes.
But have you ever heard of Katy Hudson? Nope, me either until I happened to stumble across an interesting fact. Katy Perry started her singing career as Katy Hudson who, based in Nashville, sang Christian songs. In 2001 she released her debut album of gospel music, the eponymously titled Katy Hudson. It was a critical success but a commercial failure.
Katy Hudson reinvented herself, came back as Katy Perry (her mother’s maiden name) and the rest, as they say, is history.
Would Katy Hudson ever have made it so big? We’ll never know.
To do a complete one eighty on your name, your image and your music takes guts, but I guess if where you are is not where you want to be and you’ve given it your best shot, why not shake things up by trying something different?
I am as guilty as any other writer of pigeon holing myself into certain genres. We are encouraged to do it from the outset because agents and publishers need to know who we are and what we do so they can file us away in their minds under certain headings. Business wise it makes absolute sense and if you are killing it in the genre you are writing in then happy days.
But it is also important that whilst we know what genres we are writing in we are not defined by them. We always have the ability to step outside our comfort zone and write something different. Taking your mind for a spin in a totally different direction can be liberating.
If your writing career is presently more Katy Hudson than Katy Perry why not step back and look at the bigger picture. Would you be better off writing in a different genre, possibly under a new name? I am all for stickability but nobody wants to be flogging the proverbial dead horse. Would a reimagining relight your fire as a writer?
If you think it would, put on a Katy Perry track and let your imagination fly. All that matters is that you write from the heart and all writers know that good things happen when we do that.